Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sharing the Best of Cancer Communities on Twitter

Earlier this month I traveled to Houston, invited to speak at the NRG Oncology Semi-Annual Meeting during a Social Media Workshop.

I was a bit nervous but also excited to share with oncologists and other cancer professionals: what is community, how cancer hashtags were developed, how cancer communities were founded on Twitter, the benefits of cancer communities and how we can learn what patients need from these communities.

Did you know that most Twitter cancer communities were founded by patients and that many of their moderators are oncologists? Did you know that many of these communities hold regular chats?
Did you know that both #bcsm and #gyncsm have had papers published based on their community members needs and support they find in these communities.
  • #bcsm published Twitter Social Community is an Effective Tool for Breast Cancer Patient Education and Support: Patient -Reported Outcomes by Survey  ( in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2015 and concluded that patients perceived knowledge increased and anxiety decreased after participation in a Twitter Social Media support group. 
  • #gyncsm published in the Journal of Patient Centered Research and Reviews in an article titled, The Needs of Women Treated for Ovarian Cancer: Results from a #gyncsm Tweet Chat ( . Authors found that women felt more vulnerable and had increased emotional concerns after treatment ended while during treatment women were more concerned about side effects and physical concerns during treatment. 

I finished up my talk with these comments/recommendations.

I hope that more oncologists and patients will participate in these communities - we have so much to learn from each other.

I want to than NRG Oncology ( @NRGonc),  Dr T. Julian ( @TBJulianMD) and Dr Becca Previs (@BeccaPrevisMD) for the opportunity to share my knowledge of Twitter Cancer Communities with you.

Every Day is a Blessing!

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